May 11, 2018 | 9:07aM ET



Chris Tanev, defenceman


It is no secret the Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to address their defense this off-season. After bowing out to the Boston Bruins in an event filled first-round series, it was clear the Achilles Heel of the Leafs was their backend. 

Toronto’s top-four, comprised of Morgan Reilly, Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev, was exposed, with Zaitsev and Gardiner struggling throughout the early-goings of the post-season. 

After the series, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun alluded to the Leafs’ attempts over the last calendar year to add to their blueline. In an interview on TSN 690 in Montreal, LeBrun indicated the Leafs tried to acquire Travis Hamonic, Sami Vatanen and Ryan McDonagh, ultimately striking out on all three. 

Over the last few months, Toronto has been linked to Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev.  The 28-year-old struggled to stay healthy this past season, playing in only 42 games. 

“We have talked with the Canucks about multiple angles on preventing injuries,” Tanev said while in conversation with Rick Dhaliwal on Sportsnet 650. “We got a plan this summer, there are certain areas we can beef up and get more protection especially with shot-blocking."

Tanev has struggled with injuries as a whole in his career, as he’s only played 70 or more games once. 

“I will be working more with the trainers for more protection and to make it safer on the ice,” he told Dhaliwal. “We are looking at different scenarios, testing things out.”

In the same interview, Tanev was asked about the rumors linking him to the Leafs, but the blueliner made it clear he’d prefer to stay with the Canucks. 

“I am happy in Vancouver,” he said. “I love the city and the guys.”

Tanev has two years left on his contract which carries an AAV of $4.45 million and contains a modified No-Trade Clause.